Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not quite a brokeass hoe

I don't have much more to say in the closing hours of 2010.
I'm too tired for profundity, too relaxed for resolutions, too cautious to rejoice, too lucky to wish for much more.
Kwaheri to the old.
Mal sehen (but optimistically), to the new.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Welp, I gave myself a pep talk today.
Don't worry, it wasn't of the "turn that frown upside down" variety.
I'm a contrarian. If someone says, Smile! I have to resist the urge to slap.
I found myself all mopey, fretting, worrying a certain line of thought like a loose button, and then out of nowhere I thought, You greedy beatch. Sure, Situation X is not working out as hoped, but.
95% of life is pretty damn good.
So I reminded myself--audibly, yes, I talked to myself out loud, slogging along Madison in the rain--I said, You got to spend time yesterday with some of your favorite people in the world. Brunch with the fam. A drink and bartender therapy and ex-boyfriend gossip with a good pal. Collaboration time with two most-favored-nation-status people. And later, drinks and Rebar with a handsome, charming friend.
Now, how to keep that 5% in molehill status.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What do you believe

Someone said to me, I don't know who you are anymore.
Which is funny, because I feel more like myself than I have in awhile.
What's the difference between trying new things and knowing yourself well enough not to?
Am I who I say I am?
I am not sure.
Sometimes the narrative I tell myself is false, or fanciful. Or manipulative, skirting facts, omitting the ugly and true.
The lie detector might be a friend's change of expression. An underlying feeling of dis-ease.
Friday night, at a friend's house, a man demanded: where's your significant other?
I said, unoffended: I am my significant other.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This time of year people get a little wacky.
Bunches of my friends are busy buying stuff, sending cards, baking and cooking, sitting on santa's lap and making perfect moments.
Others are ignoring the holidays and simply going about their business, having Festivus parties and trying to wait the whole thing out at the local watering hole.
I don't know what makes sense, honestly, other than to keep on with I've been trying to do: doing the things I love, having fun, and letting the extra stuff sort itself out. I took this picture on a good night recently, roaming around Belltown on a frigid night with a friend, taking photos, drinking beer and having the time of our lives.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The scrum

This story online says that 3 of every 5 Seattle residents live alone. Which means there's a lotta single people in this town.
At The Lobby the other night, we sipped cocktails on the balcony and watched the scrum below. Beautiful people working the bar, talking and flirting. Two guys ostentatiously making out near the dj. A tall black girl cold-shouldering all comers in favor of a ginger-haired drag queen.
Living alone, and yet not. Crystal Castles called it, I think. For me, for now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Fear met me here a couple of days ago.

View Larger Map
I don't want to say too much more. Only that I'm okay.
I was scared. Am scared. But I proceed regardless.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Through a window, opaquely

It's just a ride.
I have to remind myself about a thousand times a day.
2010 has been intense.
By that I mean I have had amazement waltz into my life, cool happenstances that I couldn't have imagined a year ago--stories published, good times with new pals and old (feverish and creative, perking up at two a.m., launching art into the world like sure shots with paper airplanes), a month of travels too, boys who taste deliciously of smoke and whisky, giggly nieces, stalwart sisters, loud hot nights at Neumo's and Rebar, drizzly cocktail afternoons--all I can say is sometimes I can't believe it myself.
Then though, I soberly remember the lows, sad days strung together like withered garlands, aloneness, loneliness, wishing I meant more in the world to someone than anyone else in the world, knowing though that this is futile, a fool's quixotic longing.
It's just a ride, and we are all ultimately alone.
Magnificent and humbling truths.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Art Walk All Stars

Boy did I geek out last night at the Greenwood Art Walk.
There was a ridiculous number of cool young artists out and about and I got to meet a bunch of them:
  • Solace (and here) -- rocked the coolest hair of the night; his painting "I Know You Are But What Am I?" is up on the wall at my place
  • Narboo sweetly handed me a Priority Mail sticker with a bird on it
  • Starheadboy gave me a fistful of stickers after I confessed like a blushing fanboy that I'd been taking pictures of them all year
  • Xavier Lopez, Jr set up shop in the basement of a house on Phinney, mistook my friend for a dealer and filled us in on his obsession with teeth
  • Henry!
  • Mantisart paints on photographs
  • And Matt Spinney, busy wrangling a very nice but drunk lady, whose glass buddhas and balinese masks are lovely
There's a follow-up shindig with more art, artists, music and TBD I guess, tonight on Phinney, peep this for details.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ya don't stop

You know you've been in your head too much when even the sound of your own thoughts feels like knuckles on a cheese grater.
So, instead of my usual pseudo-intellectual musings and agonies, here are 2 pictures snapped at a bus stop on First Avenue South the other night, and, links to some of my favorite places on the internets:
* Dinosaur Comics
* Girl Talk (on MySpace, and his new dl on illegal-art)
* My girl Natalie's travel blog: Nat Nat Bo Bat
* Augie Pagan's art blog
* If you don't have an iPhone and therefore lack access to Angry Birds, play this game, it's almost as addictive
* Mmm yum
* Black Weirdo...these girls got it
* Last but not least -- pour yourself a martini, find a Forgotten Man, and watch this movie in totes

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fall down 7

I've resisted taking a photo of this chalked-up graffito near where I work. It's so corny!
But I couldn't stop thinking about it and the other day I finally snapped a picture.
Fall Down 7 Times Stand Up 8
Last night a friend--at 80 a sprightly, joyous raconteur--declared his motto for 2011: have more fun.
It seems like a worthy goal.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A rare treat

One of the things that attracted me to Zambia in October was the conditions. No electricity. No running water. Sleeping on concrete floors. Pit latrines.
I was curious how I'd do, because I'm kind of a wuss.

As it turns out, I was fine. Once you decide you're going to be okay, you are.
What I hadn't anticipated was the loveliness out there, the sense of being a part of something, of both remoteness and closeness.
Of the innate wildness of our planet.
Of the fraternity it's possible to find with near-strangers.

Kids from the village hung out with us by the campfire some nights. After most everyone had drifted off to bed, three in particular stuck around, singing in Losi and Bemba and English, drumming, dancing. It is a privilege to know such beautiful, open young spirits.

These are the three. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Man do I feel like a fool and

now is the time to remember some happy things.
(This is not an exhaustive list.)
*bird tracks in the snow
*belly laughs
*sunday nights at Rebar
*bench naps after lunch

It's funny how 3 of the 4 start with "b."

Monday, November 29, 2010

The blur

I'm no fan of cliche, unless, of course, it's intentional and ironic (effing plaid-shirting hipsters).
Like cell phone photos--I mean, come on, we've all seen a zillion too many blurry amateurish pictures of night-time neon and rainy pavement, snapped by effing photo-bombing hipsters.
Okay now I'm shouting.
Anyway I posted some blurry amateurish blackberry photos (like this one of EMP) to BusySmartyPants:Tumblr.
Does this make me a cliche?
Wait, don't answer that. Just take a look.
PS don't miss the Punk Rock Flea Market this Saturday, I will be there fsho.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It snowed a little Sunday and and some more on Monday.
Temperatures dropped. It got windy.
Seattle freaked out.
It's what we do.
A half inch of the white stuff and it's instant gridlock on I-5. A ten minute drive slows into a six hour nightmare commute. Schools close down. Metro chains up. Jim Forman suits up in enough Gore-Tex to outfit a division of Army Rangers.
Me, I stayed calm. Worse comes to worst, I can walk home from work. I stuck around, had drinks with a friend. Caught a bus to the Fortress of Solitude. Wrote for awhile. Waited around for the 30. Walked past a huge sledding party at the bottom of Queen Anne hill. Stopped in for hot toddies at the bar near my place and talked with another pal about art and sex and music. Shivered my way home around 1.30 and fired up the electric blanket. Talked to a tipsy friend on the phone at two a.m. until we were both too sleepy to continue.
A chill, yet cozy evening.
Snomg ht

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writing haps of late

So, one of my stories, "Death, Blood and the Resurrection," was published in Portland Review over the summer.
I only found out last week, and being that Summer 2010 is receding roadkill in our collective rearview mirror, this means that Issue 57 is no longer available at your local newsstand.
But you can click here and read a scanned copy.
I hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

180 minutes chez Charles de Gaulle

I had a 3-hour layover at Charles de Gaulle airport on my journey home recently. After breakfasting on croissant and cafe au lait, I hit duty free for vodka and limoncello, scored biscuits from Fauchon and some calissons de provence, and had time to wander around snapping pictures.
There are worse ways to spend 180 minutes.
Peep my photos on busysmartypants:tumblr.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Remain calm

Today I ask myself, what have I learned?
The answer is, not much.
I wish I wasn't such a slow learner.
Why do I keep doing stupid shit? Why can't I be chill and generous, always?
What might it feel like if someone carved their declaration of love for me, passionate German cut into a railing at Victoria Falls?
Nina, ich liebe dich, bebi.
There is much to be gained by remaining calm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seen. Felt.

From Metro the other night.
A bright smeary rainy blur.
I snapped the image with my phone.
A couple of days later, I sent it to a friend.
This photograph has a story, an arc.
It is more emotional than I, but I, I have more texture.
Re: depth, the jury is still out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The triumph of function over elegance

Location: gas station outside of Kaoma, Zambia. It's the only place for miles with a generator (and hence, cold sodas). The power has been out everyplace else for 3 days; an elephant reportedly stepped on a power line somewhere in Kafue National Park.
We send an emissary inside, order. Cold Coca-Colas are handed out. Since the Coke's in bottles, you have to drink it on the premises. This we know.
But alas, the counter guy states, they have no bottle opener. This we didn't know.
So, we prize open the bottles on the door latch, splintered from previous attempts.
Untidy. Not elegant. But, functional.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The one that's everything

I posted some pictures today from my trip. Much as I love looking at photos, I'm a negligent photographer when I'm having fun, but these turned out okay.
It's hard to write much about this trip yet. I'm still in shock, a little. Talking--writing about it--feels like spoiling something. I need to sit with the pleasure of knowing where I went, what I felt, who I met, what I did and ate and smelled.
Oh, and apologize for snoring, apparently.
Anyway, I've been looking for a photo that represents the trip. This one is from Independence Day in Kaoma, Zambia. Our group spent the day in town at a community celebration--a boring political speech at the football pitch (yes, District Commissioner, tell us more about the history of maize agriculture, please!), followed by dancers, a karate demonstration, then football. Four of us stayed later than the rest, reluctant to leave. We goofed around with kids we'd met at the Cheshire Care Center a few days earlier, watched men play gourd xylophones and women in striped t-shirts dance, ducked out of the way when the football strayed and soared our way.
At sunset we started the hot walk back into town, to Auntie Omega's pub for a cold drink and a taxicab. We looked down at our feet and had to laugh. A week ago we'd have been horrified at the state of our dirt-caked appendages, but knowing where we were in the world just then, it felt about right.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Seattle-->Dar es Salaam-->Lusaka-->Seattle

Well, I'm back: tired, dirty, broke, farmer-tanned and missing a suitcase.
Which means it was a great trip.
I met a bunch of cool people, worked hard, played harder, did and saw things I never in my life dreamed I'd ever do or see. This photo is of an East African beach, a quick jog downhill from the $14-a-night YMCA in Pangani, Tanzania, my home for 2 nights in October.
I'm a lucky girl.
More soon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


BSP is going on hiatus for a few weeks.
I'll be breaking in a new passport and traveling 20,000+ miles.
See you in November.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some days

Some days I feel like a busy intersection.
Thriving. Vibrant. Connected.
Other days, like the corner of an abandoned lot.
(Cue tumbleweed.)
The key is--is there a key?
If there is a key, it might be: remain calm and split the difference.
The good news is, there is genius at those crackling edges.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Precious munchees

I haven't posted much graffiti here lately. Here are two I snapped recently with my phone so please excuse the poor quality.

>tAY we got the munchees
>Don't be so precious about it

Too much heavy thinking and I'm ready for an IV hookup of bloody marys so for today, smile at the smartass tags and let all the other stuff go.
Because it's just stuff and it's all just a ride.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This wall has interested me for a long time. You can peep it along 8th and Olive in Seattle.
On one side of the street are luxury apartments and an upscale restaurant. On the other side it's a much grittier scene, a bodega and grim studios, with possibly the world's grossest Greyhound station only steps away.
Such intriguing duality.
A clue to how a person--yes okay me--could be both sane and thoughtless, charmless and charmant, all at once.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Land on your feet

A new friend helped me balance on an upended piece of driftwood last week.
One minute he was holding on, the next I was on my own, a little wobbly but nobly looking out to sea. If you fall, he said, kick away from the log and try to land on your feet.
I had it, for a minute.
Then a few days later, I fell.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's been a week or two of lessons.
Hard-learned stuff, where I look at myself in the mirror and wonder how it is I am so stubborn and idiotic and selfish.
I've had to reassess.
Retreat. Regroup.
It's humbling. And tiring. When do I get to the part where it's easy(ier), where I'm not constantly screwing up?
Wait, maybe I don't.
Can't, and possibly don't want to.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


In Port Angeles yesterday I was amazed again by the green.
A zillion--yep I counted--shades of green lushness.
It's rain forest country. Ferns thrive in gutters. Stuff left outside molds. Dandelions shoot up to your waist if you're not careful.
Every time somebody complains about the weather (read: rain), I think, you don't get a zillion shades of verdant green without a little rain falling.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The kindness of friends

The kindness of my friends overwhelms me.
Today, for the first time, I scribbled my authorial signature on the flyleaf of a book. Other pals have ordered the Main Street Rag anthology and have asked me to sign their copies too.
It feels weird. It feels great. I'm humbled.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now I waver

Hanging out in the 316 this weekend was a lot of fun.
And made me come close to losing my nerve.
I lose touch with my connections sometimes, the grandma about to enter her 9th decade, aunts and uncles and a raft of cousins, salt of the earth citizens most of them. I listened to their soft twangs the other day and wondered what the hell am I doing, writing about affairs and dead bodies and existential dissatisfaction.
Walking down Wichita's Kellogg Street late Friday night, I looked down the empty boulevard and felt a twist of familiarity.
This is my place, these are my people.
I know them. Don't I? Do they know me?
We share existential alienation as though it the gene that bequeathed us chocolate brown eyes or a knack for fixing things.

Friday, September 10, 2010


What with all the good times lately, I didn't want to post about this particular subject, but it's been on my mind all day.
On this date a few years ago, I got married.
On this date a few years later, I told my partner I was scared we were through.
I don't like to think I'm superstitious but I can concede that anniversaries mean something. Remembering means something, even if the something is painful, the end of a shared life, a schism, a tear, a shredding, a shedding, incremental growth, a new name, old problems, a teetering roller coaster of successes and disasters. (And thinking in such +/- terms says something too.)
There aren't many pictures of me from a year ago. It wasn't a time for photographs, although I wish I 'd taken a few. This one, from the Jim Hodges show in Chelsea, probably says it best.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Popsicle stand

My Seattle-centric summer is seguing into plans to skip town for a bit. First I'm off to Kansas, to attend a sweet cousin's wedding and see the fam and roughhouse with the kids and pinch the babies' cheeks and hopefully have some laughs and drinks and dance a little.
Then comes a longer voyage, one that requires shots and malaria pills and visas. I've been to eastern Africa before but always with a companion. This time I'm going by myself. I'm excited, and a little bit scared. For a good three weeks I won't have electricity, hot water, Gmail, Facebook, iPod, my laptop or my Blackberry...I wonder who or what I'll miss the most.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

$5 cover

You know I'm not given to gushing but as holidays go, this one was pretty damn amazing. It has been a solidly good, if chaotic summer, and going into the long weekend I felt unsettled, lots of tentative plans and maybes but nothing really for sure. Well, I'm here to testify. I had a great time.
  • Cocktails Friday night with a good pal at Cicchetti, served up by amazing bartender Seth
  • A motorcycle ride to Ballard followed by fish and chips, beer and pool, and then a nightcap at Shelter with a cute boy and his anxious friend
  • Pre-birthday cupcakes Saturday morning with Hammy Smackbooty (HBD darlin', see you soon!)
  • Martinis, dinner and gossip with a handsome pal at Queen City Grill
  • At the Grotto in Belltown later on, I worked the door at a fundraiser for the Gulf: a $5 cover scored performances by Tulsi, Rory Gannon, Kelly Castle Scott, Thad Wenatchee, and late night beats by DJ Limerence
  • Afterward, hashbrowns and crayola art at Beth's on Aurora
  • Sunday was the Evergreen State Fair, a day of horses and piglets, prize canned beets, dog obedience trials (including one over-excited escapee), alpacas in costume, elephant ears + Lopez Island ice cream, and a Ferris Wheel ride with the cute boy
  • Later on, a Negroni at re:public
  • Caught a friend's band, We Say Bang! at the Comet
  • And then came church: dancing at Rebar, kicked off by wickedly talented DJ Brian Lyons, followed by Lawnchair Generals (and heard a rumor Mark Farina peeked in quite late)
  • Monday...a lovely lazy morning, then kicking it over Negro Modelo and spinach pizza with another good pal
  • A friend treated me to the Supremes costume collection at EMP
  • And finally, segue into the evening, gin and tonic, ramen and a valiant waitress at Kushibar
  • Then I went home, did laundry, and pondered my good fortune

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Your wrong"

I snapped this from the Mercer tunnel wall under I-5.

"I think this world is a perfect world"
Your wrong
~~~~~~~~Sky the infitnite"

What can I add? This is nearly perfect: immediate, direct, misspelled, smudgy, random. A chicory blend of confidence, hedging and starry-eyed obliviousness.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pattern maker

An artist friend told me recently that I had an eye for picking out patterns in my photos. Let me be clear that he didn't mean this as a compliment. He's someone who has actual talent, and a shiny degree from a local art institute. He fills sketchbooks chock full of studies--a coy shoulder, a barfly's potbelly, a gaggle of bus stop loiterers. So when he said this I felt as though he were saying I had more dedication than skill.
But I thought about it some more and now I think there's no reason to be mad. I am obsessed with patterns, with line and shadow and angles. I love the sad orderliness in this rundown Pioneer Square window, and the graffiti riot of color.
When I was a kid, my mom made all our clothes. She rocked urban craft uprising way before the hipsters. I passed the long hours at the fabric store looking at Butterick patterns, imagining myself in this blousy top, or these rakish gauchos. It took some doing, making that mental leap out of two-dimensionality, from a lackluster fabric bolt and tissue paper pattern to actual clothing, but now I think maybe it's what got me here. Seeing the potential.
9/1 UPDATE: I got a text yesterday asking "am I the artist you wrote about on your blog?"
Caught out!
Said artist, Nthnart, who blogs here, countered that he'd meant his comment as a compliment.
So, I take it as such, with slightly embarrassed gratitude.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dark City

More photos from Westlake Avenue a few weeks ago.
Also, I finally cracked the login to Nico Nico Douga. More delicious cross-posts to come.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We're all in Kansas

As most of you kids know, I've gotten a lot of "no's" this year, but happily have had a few "yes's" too.
So please lay eyes on the new Main Street Rag anthology, Coming Home. My story, "The Sunflower State," is about Kansas and the sweet pain of loss and family and buffet restaurants. I hope you find it as delicious as fried jojo's and all-you-can-eat chocolate pudding.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Beaucoup shiny

My nighttime rambles took me past China Harbor not long ago. Take a peep at BusySmartyPants:Tumblr tomorrow for more tasty shots.
You know me, I love the shine, the sparkle, the dazzle.
Taking pictures in the dark is a furtive kind of pleasure.
You don't know if what you have will turn out.
As with most things in life.
Do what you're doing, get what you're getting. Got this unshaven gem from a friend earlier this week, when I was low.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


If you live in Seattle you've seen this tag:
I try not to get crazy about reading too much into street messages but sometimes I think about what this means.
As a full-on Capricorn my life has been all about running the trains on time. I'm the Bundesbahn in a world dominated by Amtrak.
Or so I thought.
I thought I was doing pretty well with the old LetGo, until recently, when I realized nope, I'm still holding on pretty damn tight. That a lot of the time, I'm white-knuckled and trying to jump the light.
So what happens if I let go? If I'm not in charge?
I wonder if I can do it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


As a writer, I've gotten used to rejection.
Being rejected stings, sure, but I'm sending out one or two stories a week, so the rejections pour in--sometimes via a form e-mail, which is gross, but sometimes the No is a Not quite, try us again, and I'm enough of a masochist that this feels kind of good.

Real life rejection still hurts a hell of a lot.
Man, does it.
That feeling of utter misery.
Pain. Sadness.
The helpless rage. The second guessing. The drink-right-from-the-bottle hopelessness.

It will pass, so I hear. Better days ahead.
I sure hope so.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wet on dry

It rained today for the first time in what feels like a month.
Everyone's complaining.
Not me, I love it.
It's good staying-in-bed weather.
Even better coffee-goodbye-kisses- and walking-around-town weather.
Wet on dry is lovely.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I've been taking a hip hop dance class the past few months.
A lot of people find this pretty funny. It is funny, I guess, because I'm pretty terrible. I wasn't allowed to dance as a kid and now I want to know how to work it out to my beloved hip hop beats.

I was terrified at first, standing in my sneakers and workout clothes in front of a wall of mirrors, trying to learn to count and copy the reverse image moves of the charming b-boy instructor and not mortify myself in front of a dozen college-aged dancers.
But then I realized that no one's looking at me, they're concentrating on themselves, and now it's okay, funny even, hilarious, because no matter how much I/we screw up, cheerful Rex says, Good job, you guys are doing great. And sometimes he jibes us--what's with the jazz hands?--and we all laugh.

Commit, guys, Rex adds. If you act like the moves are weird, they'll feel weird. Throw yourself into it. At least if you screw up, you'll screw up trying.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Busted up

There was something in the air last Friday. It was a full moon and hotter than hell, but still.
Two couples I know broke up.
A sometime amour read me the riot act via text messages.
Walking home from the block party, I came across a girl sobbing her way along Boren Street. (When I asked if she was okay, she managed, through tears, I'm fine, I'm just being silly, and then she sank to the sidewalk.)
Yes George, I know I need to live in confusion, to examine and endure and even embrace it, but sometimes I'm not sure how much I can take. There seems to me a certain comfort in being settled and incurious.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Here's a scan of "The Shabiby Express," the story that placed in the Dylan Days writing contest.
I hope you like.
(PS Click the little box lower right to see a full screen version.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

The weirdo...

These scribbles, written on a wall near Harborview Hospital, stopped me cold. As I read them--amazed, amused, bemused--a homeless woman called out to me. Could I give her money for food?
I just left the Cherry Street Food Bank, I said. It's less than a block away and they're serving lunches right now.
She swore at me, and, hitching up her skirt, sat down on the trunk of a parked car.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Only when I larf*

No Important Movies for me right now. I crave the funny stuff.
Russell Brand and Diddy (surprisingly) killed in this one.
My pal and his kids and I giggled through this.
Nothing like a belly laugh to chase you off the ledge.

*ht to Len Deighton, superbad-ass spy writer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst..

Got some coolstuf I wanted to share, a story and then some, but instead I stared at my computer.
Listened to some new hip hop on Soundcloud.
Stared some more.
Last night someone said a mutual pal was "too much of a pussy and a Buddhist" to make a decision.
C'est moi at the moment.
In a death spiral.
I know I need to ride it out.
One must use caution, as Nietzsche said, in looking too closely at the abyss.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I have an obsession with windows.
Which of course has metaphorical implications.
Of seeing, looking, peering, snooping, spying.
Looking into the now, or the future,
or the past,
into someone's most private areas, their home or shop.
The idea of a portal, of movement.
Of reflection, obliqueness, distortion, refraction.
Glances through.
Glimpses blocked.
There's the poignance of a broken window.
Or one that's painted shut.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I took Friday off and got out of town with two young travelers. After a coupla hiccups--I was phoneless (lost it the night before) and nearly carless (stopped for donuts and managed to lock us out briefly)--we boarded the ferry for the Olympic Peninsula.
Flying the coop, even for just a day, felt relaxing and refreshing. Zipping along (car-ferry-car...ferry-car), we cackled at dumb jokes, snapped goofy photos, stocked up on Black Cats and a Powder Puff melange of fireworks, beachcombed, chowed down on Pop Rocks and Craisins and Mighty-O, argued, dozed, pit-stopped, had a spider freak out, Twi-harded in Forks, and eventually, at 1 a.m., dragged home, with a brief stop en route to pick up my found phone (gracias Hattie's).
Fun times used to make me sad. I was a morose, even Puritanical kid, and I guess I worried that I'd use up my good times ration card and suddenly life would revert to Kafka-level bleakness. Well, laissez les bon temps rouler, as they say in New Orleans.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Overheard around town, 4oJ edition

On the 18 downtown last night, four bewildered Indian tourists--mom, dad, young adult guy and girl--endured a barrage of questioning from a Metro nutjob:
Indian people are beautiful. Don't you think? Don't you think Americans are ugly?
(nervous glances) Americans aren't ugly.
Where are you staying in Seattle, at a hotel?
We're staying with a friend.
Male or female?
(more nervous glances) Yes, married.
Then why'd you say you say 'friend?' You should have said 'friends.' Unless you're better friends with her than with him.
(no reply)
Where'd you go to college, here or in India? Or did you go to university?
What's the difference between a college and a university?
There is one, I guess I'm asking did you go to college, here or in India?
(patiently) What is the difference between a university and a college?
You know, like community college. I guess. (now, finally, consternation)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hear me out

Killer ride first 255 seconds by busysmartypants

255 seconds of a new story

story by busysmartypants
beats by limerence

So fresh

Czech me out!
Main Street Rag's upcoming anthology, Coming Home, will include a story I wrote called "The Sunflower State."
You can pre-order now for delivery in August or come by my place late summer and take a gander.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Overheard around town, Juneuary edition

On the 18 to Ballard last night, two drunk dudes checked each other's street cred.
"You like Scooby snacks?"
Nah, man, them's for kids.
"No, man, you ever been in the penitentiary? No? King County Jail?"
Proudly: Never been locked up.
"That's what they call breakfast sausage in the King County Jail. 'Scooby snacks.' If somebody asks 'do you like Scooby snacks' you better say hell yeah."
The 30 to Fremont this afternoon felt like a scene from Wings of Desire, with snippets of strangely endearing conversations percolating around the back of the coach.
I don't know what I want to do with my life.
"Dudes, there's this new movie coming out with Nicolas Cage and the Rock!"
I just want to be happy. I don't care what I'm doing, as long as I'm happy.
"So you don't get off at this stop." "Uh--no."
I want to learn French. But I think I'd speak it with a Japanese accent.
"You think he can excuse their pathetic defense the past two matches? Like I excused those two knuckleheads in class earlier? No, I didn't think so."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I did something last week that some (most) would consider douche-y.
I'm not proud. I apologized. I thought, It's so not me.
But it was me.
And on a certain level I enjoyed it, because it felt gross and painful and honest.
I have no patience right now for the stable, the sane, the normal, the ordinary, for 8 hours of sleep a night and a well-balanced breakfast, for the perfect manicure or tights without holes or polite conversation or men with Careers or literary novels or good grammar or nice dinners.
Someone accused me of being an adrenaline junkie but I don't think that's it. I just want to live the bejeezus out of life, out of this city. I want to feel--love, sadness, disappointment, desire, anger--so deeply and truly that I almost can't stand it.
Then what, I dunno. There may not be a then.

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em